Waiting for the bus to start my journey to Dublin Airport
They say.. a picture paints a thousand words and until a few years ago I didn’t really think about the “saying” it is very true. In top left is the photo that most of my twitter, running friends/family and also on my other social media outlets have seen, but to me it’s still one of my most proud moments and am still super stoked that I could be a part of this fundraiser for https://www.bumbleance.com . Bottom left is only a sketch of me me pretending to be training hard:):) and bottom right I posted on twitter before my bus journey to the airport started…which might I add was a panic before I even got to the airport.
Ivan, Terri (L) and me after trail race
Before Trail race
after trail race
my race number
These pictures are of my first back to back race for BUMBLEance very sick children’s charity. The race in question(Maritzburg 17km trail) was at a reasonable starting time although from the heat on the Saturday it probably would have been better to start earlier and not at 07:30, a 07:00 start would’ve probably been a lot better..but as mentioned before I had back issues going into this race so the heat was actually a help more then a hindrance. I went into the race without any running done for two weeks, for once I actually listened to my GP…!!? It was slow, cautious and methodical running no records were broken but loads of friends made and had a great chat with Chris/Ivan it’s a long story but to shorten it when we received our race numbers we all had our first names printed on the back and front of our numbers which was pretty cool because it was a lot more sociable, well Ivan had the wrong name printed on his race number and this contributed to a lot of laughs. It was also cool meeting Terri who had taken up running about 6 months ago and was loving it. Just goes to show to can start running whenever…
The start of the Maritzburg Half Marathon
Serious face after getting my shoulder and back done by chiropractic volunteers
A smile of accomplishment
after trail race
The next day was an early one luckily I stayed about 1km from the start. I woke up at 04:30am not feeling great stomach was doing turns and my lower back was aching from the dry needling and being turned inside out the day before(Chiropractic Volunteers thank you:) ) after the 13km trail (It was cut short for our safety). So I was really doubting myself and even had thoughts of pulling out if I wasn’t anyway right during the race…Fortunately the stomach issues subsided after going to the toilet 2/3 times..I started slow and kept the pace extra easy knowing that there would be some serious hills enroute…The longest hill was at about 16/17km and it seemed to never end but my training before I was layed off running for two weeks paid off and amazingly I kept the pace easy all the way up the hill and still had something left in the tank after 17km’s go figure…? guess a lot of it was also due to working with an awesome online coaching platform which is called Myprogramgenerator.com a huge thanks to my coach for all the tips and listening to me whinge and moan about not being able to train properly thank you JP thumbs up coach…:)
A huge thank you to the guys at Crotchguard-uk.com for giving me the opportunity to try out your product it worked a treat in South Africa for the two back to back race for BUMBLEance childrens charity it’s easy to apply because of the way the bottle has a spray 2-3 squirts on the groin area was all I needed and it definitely stayed on well after I had finished my races a huge kudos for a great product that’s not only for cycling 🙂
I don’t think I say it enough …but Stash has been my favourite person to represent as an ambassador and one day we will get some interest for LaceLocker in Ireland..For now I will do my best to get the word out…
These are my last words for this blog as I am sure you will probably get bored with my ramblings..Thank you for taking the time to read this and feel free to let me know what you think.
Let me start by saying hello😂 It feels like I haven’t blogged in absolutely ages..Ever since August of last year things have changed a lot and that’s all due to The Amazing journey getting to the Greatwallmarathon in China meeting and making inspirational new friends from all over the world. I believe that we all have a path to follow and although we follow that path, sometimes there are obstacles and instead of trying to climb over them we choose to avoid them in the hope that they won’t reappear. This is where the trouble lies because we didn’t face the obstacles head on from the start.
Nearly five years ago I became unemployed depressed and despondent not knowing from day to day what curve ball life was going to throw at me..then I got the chance to re-educate myself it was tough but with my rekindled love for running and a burning desire to do something worthy with my existence all of these factors have helped. It is never easy sucking in your pride but if you know what I’m talking about you will also know that it is all worth it. My motto at the moment is …I love what I do and do what I love if this is not the definition of passion I really and truly don’t know what is??
I am truly grateful for the friendship and friends that I have met on this arduous journey of discovery and look forward to making more along my exciting new one. I am evolving into a better more resilient person with all of the traits that I have picked up along the way and there’s always more room to improve.
The image at the top of the page is so true to my current situation and is so good to relate and hopefully to inspire others that through hardships comes learning and understanding and a better you.. I am sure that there will still be hardships to overcome and relish the opportunity at another challenge be it with life, running a marathon or possibly a personal challenge or should I call it an adventure of self discovery.
Please feel free to share this Text image of hardship. We all face these challenges differently but if you have the right supportive network of friends around you there is no limit to what can be achieved. I feel that I am the proof of what positive thinking and a change in mind set can achieve..So thank you for your support over the years and also my deepest gratitude to those that read my blogs and know me from where I was a couple of years ago, to where I am now👍
I think as athletes we all have our vices and mine is definitely running. When I was much younger running was my way of losing weight. I was a plump version of the Michelin Man and I hated it especially when I used to be ridiculed at primary school about my weight, kids can be really malicious and cruel. It was this fact and a word from my GP that made me realise I had to do something. So I started doing cross country at school and participated in athletics and did really well at sprint distances.
I was reared in a small village in the mountains of kwa Zulu Natal Southern Africa, about one and a half hours from the nearest high school and I think it was the pinnacle of my sporting aspirations because boarding school was all about extra mural activities and my school had all sports from basketball in the summer to rugby in the winter. I was very active and lost all of the weight which changed my mindset and approach to a lot of things especially my introverted and shy nature.
When I finished my matric or leavers it was straight to the South African Defence force for ones years voluntary service. In the army I learned to endure and carry on no matter what that’s why I think I’m so passionate about running. When you are out on a long run, marathon or ultra there is always a voice in your head that makes you question yourself and it’s up to you whether to push on or just tell the little voice to be quiet..
We are all made unique and it is up to each and every one of us how we deal with different situations. Some of us are married and have to make the time to do what we love or give up completely I don’t think I could give up my passion, could you? To all of you who are just starting out in your chosen sport remember that everything in life takes time unless of course you have natural born talent and thrive at whatever you attempt. To me it’s like a long run or marathon once you get to the start ,you have only to get to the finish, I know it sounds crazy but there is some Crazy Logic in there somewhere
I headed out late Tuesday morning my intentions were that I would head out early but good intentions and all of that..ended up sleeping in and only heading out after ten o’clock in the morning, it was warm but it wasn’t really hot until I was about five or six kilometres out. I realised that the temperature was increasing a lot quicker then normal.. I don’t normally run with much liquids but on this occasion I am glad I did👍. At about ten kilometre mark there was a bit of discomfort on my small toe on the left foot. So like any runner I found a spot off the road that I could adjust my socks and running shoes. I analysed everything whilst sitting down adjusting my socks and running shoes..and thought about what I had run in on my previous run the previous Tuesday and everything was the same the socks were used the week before and so were the running shoes. I did have to adjust the new kicks the week before because they were new but other then that I had no problems…
So on I went my pace got faster and then I received a sharp pain on my small toe it was a sharp pinching, burning feeling !!? It couldn’t be a blister?? Haven’t had one of those in a long time..tried tightening my shoes but that didn’t work it became more painful. Eventually I stopped running and found an area to sit down for a minute to think, I had brought my water pouch but no plasters/bandaids. What was I going to do? There was a hedge across from where I was sitting and the leaves looked waxy and possibly big enough to wrap around my toe..
If anyone saw me on the side of the road I’m sure they’d be thinking what’s that odd ball doing?? Ray Mears eat your heart out😂😂.. These leaves you see wrapped around my toe got me through to 22 very hot kilometres and …when I removed my sock and leaves from toe the blister under and on the side of my toe was just a dull ache. The green waxy leaves had turned black.. It seems that the leaves I had chosen had healing potential..If any of you ever get a blister here’s a go to, if you have no plasters at hand it works!!
Thanks for reading my waffle if you have got this far👍
This month has been really exciting, not only because I turned a year older yesterday but because of other event’s that have materialised , from good running folk helping me reach my potential with running gear to being appointed ambassador to on of the most iconic marathons in the world, obviously my opinion but it’s exciting I’m cloud nine ever since I was approached by Mr Zhu the race director of The Great Wall Of China marathon… The profile page is up and looks good and no I’m not vain ha ha ha but really happy to be chosen to represent such an awesome event as an “Ambassador” for someone who only knows me from interacting on twitter how cool is that?!! It’s not officially up on the site yet but have look at my average mug ha ha ha this is what I am representing on May 1st 2016 (an amazing dream) to top my birthday week I won from @zensah compression thank you so much 🙂 oh yes… and my good running buddy bought me an amazing headlamp picture to follow .
As always I would like to thank everyone in my twittersphere (if that’s even a word?) and also ask that every one give a little support to those who are not able to run or those who are running with the likes of cancer and other debilitating diseases hugs go out to all, but especially to Michelle or @lutherungirl she is an inspiring lady who I’m in awe of, to me she is running a marathon of survival and I believe she’ll kick this in the butt . @Rjtorganic thank you for giving me the chance to believe in myself again, @Bsnsupplements for the awesome prizes I have won and to everyone else thank you so..so..so..much:) A westerner’s perception of the “Great Wall Of China” but …It can be more then a picture of a wall with writing on it.. It could be a reality you could be running on the Great historical wall for real.. Take a look at the wall of opportunityyou could be there next May 1st 2016 to run an iconic marathon. Lets do this …looking forward to meeting you all next year or at least some of you..
A lot of you know of all the ups and downs I have had and even though the downs were hard to come to terms with, it’s been a learning curb, the saying “what brings you down will either keep you down or build you up and make you stronger” comes to mind. I have learned so much from myself in the last four months and even though it’s hard to admit, I am my own worst enemy…the stubborn streak that I possess is often my biggest flaw be it with running or on a personal level at home.
So it’s no shock to me to now have a sprained toe which makes running pretty difficult but this will also pass thanks to an extra set of strength exercises for my toe!!! I have been running on alternate days to take the pressure off of the toe and thankfully its helping.
I guess I just wanted let any one know that even though we have bad times there are always the times to look forward to. If life was predictable then it wouldn’t be worthwhile getting up in the morning or at all challenge yourself every single day that way you feel alive ..enjoy your running and the challenges it presents..It is always worth it in the end.
I was given these kicks from a good pal of mine, who just couldn’t get the feel of them. Thanks Simon 👍.
I haven’t really got a decent feel of them until I started putting in longer mileage. They are in my opinion definitely comfortable,bouncy but also feel heavy and sluggish, definitely for the extra long haul. I suppose if I had thicker socks they would probably feel better, it’s all about trial and error eh?
So I’m not entirely convinced even though they seem comfortable for the long run..I have removed the original lacing system and replaced them with old laces that I had this seems to help with the overall snuggness of the kicks..
As for speed…maybe when the injury has healed it might be different..who knows?? Also the grip on the sole doesn’t do well off road and can be very slippery definitely made for road running..
I’m going to give it a few more long runs before I make my final judgment..
Since writing about The Hoka ones I have run in them again and well definitely know now that are not meant for me to run in because I have high arches and weird shaped toes..the toe box is way to small and thus the ice treatment… Don’t know which is worse..the pain of my toe or the pain from the ice..!!??😂👍
Anyway final verdict the Hoka’s are comfortable for walking in but for running in definitely not made for my weirdly shaped feet. They are everything you’d need for a long haul if your feet suit the narrow toe box. Unfortunately these just aren’t made for me really can’t afford any more injuries or set backs.